Neighbours fight to save wildlife haven

PUBLISHED: 07:59 08 June 2006 | UPDATED: 09:25 24 May 2010

The Wellsea Grove residents and their petition.

The Wellsea Grove residents and their petition.

ANGRY residents are objecting to plans to build houses on fields which are 'a haven for wildlife'. A planning application to build 44 houses and flats on land to the east of Wellsea Grove in Weston has been submitted to North Somerset Council. Applicant M

ANGRY residents are objecting to plans to build houses on fields which are 'a haven for wildlife'.A planning application to build 44 houses and flats on land to the east of Wellsea Grove in Weston has been submitted to North Somerset Council.Applicant Michael Charalambous wants permission to build houses and proposes 30 per cent of the development would be affordable housing.The council has received 119 letters of objection to the proposals and residents have collected over 200 signatures on a petition.Councillors recently carried out a visit to the site to listen to concerns including loss of potential allotment land, wildlife being disturbed, an increase in traffic and a risk of flooding.Nida Barraclough spoke on behalf of the residents at the council's last west area committee meeting.She said: "Officers estimate 264 more cars would use the road every day. Wellsea Grove cannot cope with any more traffic."The area will also suffer an increase in litter and noise, there will be danger to the elderly and opportunities for criminal activity."Covering the site in concrete will negate its value as a green flood plain area, increasing the risk of flooding to adjacent properties."A horse and donkey live in the field, but there is evidence of badgers, foxes, herons, sparrow hawks, bats and numerous other birds. It is a haven for wildlife."We also hope that when councillors discuss the Local Plan on June 6 that they will throw out the idea of any future development on the site and allocate it as allotment land."In a letter to councillors, Mr Charalambous said: "Anyone who has lived next to a green field site for years is likely to be against any development. "However, when the objections are examined all they really amount to is 'not next to me please'."I consider their objections are outweighed by the need for affordable housing and I also believe when the development is complete most of their reasons for objecting will fall away."Council officers recommended the application was approved but councillors deferred the decision until next month's west area meeting to get more information.

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